Mamapumpkin???

I love green Once upon a time, she designed buildings and interiors of corporate offices and on the rare occasion, homes. Now, she cleans poop and is student of a patience management course. From the drawing board as a London Architect to the realities of Motherhood, she has certainly learned many lessons in humility. And then others.....

To succeed in the corporate world, first succeed with your kid as the happy boss. Seriously.

I love green

This blog is about Mamapumpkin: A crazy, kick-ass Mom who works full time juggling several jobs - the full-time paid job, the raising of her 2 kids (she gets paid in kind for this) and the volunteering job for various charity organisations and parenting websites. Needless to say, she gets very little sleep (3-5 hours per day, Margaret Thatcher who used to sleep 4 hours per day during her conservative career inspires this crazy lifestyle).

Mamapumpkin intends to change the working Mom landscape in Malaysia where working women can bring their children to the corporate office of a client and not be frowned upon.

I love green

She writes anything that comes out of her head, mostly without thinking first (since she already has to think at work!), which almost ALWAYS gets her into trouble (according to her husband, whom she considers the love of her life on a good day).

Her 2 pet monkeys drive her towards challenge after challenge, 24/7.....day after day.....and interestingly, her parents are Muslim, her in-laws Buddhist, she's Catholic and her Hubs, an Atheist. She's thinking her kids should be Hindu, just to complete the rainbow religion cycle.

Gotta love it.

She'd love to hear from you : Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com


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Yoga at 7am

Real yoga is supposed to happen before the sun rises but since I am only a beginner, I have started with a 7 am class. Soon though, I hope to be a real yogi, one that practises daily too, following my real yogi friends near and far.

I am so proud of myself that I’m doing this daily!!!!! Change your life to a healthier one today, peeps! Have a fabulous week.

Quitting your job

Quitting your job: How many women out there who earn a hefty salary would dare give up their lifestyle? With my salary, I had so much freedom to give away money freely, just throw it to the wind, but it wasn’t really for free because obviously a heavy responsibility came with it. Snort. Despite being a Director and only needing to make decisions from my head, I still felt the incredible stress that haunted me daily especially when there was a problem that I had to resolve and although I was good at my job, after awhile as expected, one tends to lose momentum when you start feeling that your value no longer commensurate with salary. I didn’t get shares. Just a big salary.

And because I have great self-esteem (yes, I do know what I am worth!), I will not give more than I get. Especially when I do not feel the sincerity of the other party. So yeah, quitting your job is always a hard decision and it took me an entire year plus to do it. I would keep talking about it and then resign only to be pulled back in with more promises or counter offers. Not proud of it.

But enough is enough. My health issues pushed me over the line and when the Hubs said to stop working, I obeyed my master. He did not want to raise the girls alone. But you know what? It has been a great lift off my back and despite not being able to afford an Hermes bag any longer (cue: *roll your eyes with me altogether now!*), I am not phased one bit. I have always been adaptable after all. So we can no longer eat out all the time without a second thought, well, eating out is bad for you anyway. Just today, we were discussing how we didn’t know if the meat we had just eaten was diseased or not, because even if it was, they just cut off the disease and sell it at the supermarkets still anyway. Awful, right? It’s real though. So real.

I now have time to actually pay attention to my body, fitness and health. Oh yes, the health of my family too. I am officially a STAY-AT-HOME-MOM again!!! I cannot believe it. For that, I have started daily yoga (OK, with 1-2 rest days) forcing myself up at 5.30am to be at the studio for 6am. Did I tell you it was a year of change for me? Mind over matter. I am so not a morning person but heck, if I cannot even do this, then what good am I? So I’m doing it. And then my bum is so itchy that I have already started a new project and am exploring others including one for the Children of Myanmar.

EXCITING!!!!

Quitting your job takes guts because there are so many factors at play including the emotional loyalty that you tell yourself to have but if you are not happy with your job, then quit. When you dread going to work to do work, that is a sure sign that you are not happy. Things somehow happen when you least expect it and more doors open for you. That has always been my experience. You just have to take that leap of faith and quit. Money is like the devil. It will keep sucking you in so you can continue to buy more unnecessary stuff but who needs unnecessary stuff anyway? And if money is needed to pay the bills, then my advice would be to start a side business and build it to a point where you can afford quitting your job!!! ANY business is possible if you have your head and your heart aligned, and if you are passionate about it. Honestly. At the end of the day, business is all about relationships. Good thing I learnt this a long time ago. I still remember being interviewed by Regus for 3 hours and then a further interview via video-conference for another 2 and was asked how I was going to increase the bottom line for Regus Malaysia. I doubled my salary and got the job because I had prepared so well for the interview and gave them the right answers. Business is all about relationships. Assuming you have a product that is as good as everyone elses, what is going to make A buy from you versus B? It’s the relationship.

Good business is having the endurance to persevere. It’s about convincing your users how they will benefit from using you. Never destroy a competitor. Never say anything bad about other people’s products or services. These are things people need to find out or learn for themselves. Never play dirty. As long as you are passionate about what you do, even if it is selling spring onions, you will succeed and make a nice income if you worked hard. Working hard and being honest go hand in hand. If you are not succeeding, you have to work harder. Find out why you are not where you want to be. There is always a way to get ahead and it is only a matter of you wanting to get your hands dirty and doing the work, or not. You WILL succeed. Quitting your job is a good choice unless you are blessed enough to have an employer who TRULY remunerates you with your real value. Never sell yourself short.

For me personally, having a business of my own would be one of the most gratifying achievements. I don’t need the money because I have a husband to take care of the bills but heck, my soul needs the challenge. The buzz excites me incredibly and I know I will succeed. Helping others ties in too with my nature so win, win, win, win. India, here I come!!! Quitting your job will be one of your best decisions ever!!!

My Mom’s Death

I have been wanting to detail this down for the longest time……….well, in the last few months which now seems like the longest time yet it’s only been 3 months since, but I have still not found the right words to describe her last 20 hours that I spent with my Mother to do any justice to the whole ordeal. It was an ordeal. But a beautiful ordeal. And I needed to share it for the benefit of all my family members who could not make it to her side in her time of departure nor the entire year before that and the weeks after, this is for you.

It started with me being in Kota Bharu (KB), Kelantan. MIL had just passed away a few weeks prior and we were flying in to KB regularly to check up on my Father-in-Law (FIL) in making sure he was OK to live on his own with just a maid in such a big house. In fact, on that very trip, FIL was saying that he wanted to make a trip down to KL just to see my Mom since MIL had gone so suddenly. Just like that. He better come to KL soon. On the day that we were due to fly back to KL after MIL’s prayers, my Mom texted me to say that she wanted to go to the hospital. I replied OK, I will organise.

I immediately called my brother and Sister-in-Law (SIL) to ask them if they could bring Mom to the Hospital. She was so frail and weak that she could not walk. They couldn’t carry her either so had to order an ambulance and had to use the stairs. A whole 2 flights of stairs because Mom’s apartment does not have a lift.

Whilst at the hospital, my brother and SIL accompanied my Mom to get admitted and meanwhile up in Kota Bharu, I was feeling rather apprehensive. Mom never asks to go to the hospital. She hates hospitals like me. And so when she does ask to be in hospital, it must be quite bad. The pain must have been unbearable. She wasn’t ready to go yet, that I know. To her, it was just a bad attack and her strength could no longer withstand the pain so she wanted the Doctors help to get rid of the pain. I kept being in touch continuously with my brother to check on her status still feeling very apprehensive and finally I asked him if I should fly down immediately now instead of later that evening. He said he didn’t know but probably. I couldn’t decide thinking what the Hubs would think if I was going to waste my ticket and buy a brand new ticket just to travel a few hours earlier. So I asked my brother again if he would fly back immediately and he said yes. When he said yes, I immediately got everyone in the Kota Bharu house to book me a ticket online whilst I ran up to pack but nobody could book a ticket online as it was too last minute. The Hubs then rushed me to the airport and I prayed the entire journey whilst we left the kids with FIL to please get me a flight. Any airline, I don’t care. I just want to be with my Mama.

I rushed into the KB airport with my bag whilst the Hubs waited for me just in case I couldn’t get a flight and I went from one airline to the next comparing flight times and took the first flight out. It was the last seat on Air Asia. Thank you, God, for making that seat available to me. I will always be grateful for divine intervention for allowing me to be with my mother in her last 20 hours. Whilst at the airport, I met another guy from KK who had also lost his Dad!!! So coincidental that we were both rushing home to similar circumstances. You know that feeling when it is a race against time? Being at the airport waiting for the plane killed me just about.

When I arrived in KL, the whole time praying for Mom to wait for me, asking the taxi driver to ramp it up yet paying attention to his speeding skills, from KLIA2 to Gleneagles Hospital, I collapsed onto my Mother’s bed and said a big THANK YOU to her for waiting for me. She had received my last text to her which read, wait for me……

Whilst in hospital, we were just trying to get her to be as comfortable as possible. By 6pm (she was admitted at 2pm-ish), she was already in incredible pain. It was so painful that she couldn’t talk, just scream from her throat. Her ENT Doctor refused to give her Morphine as he said she was too weak and morphine would interfere with her lungs. We didn’t know any better so we just listened to him but at some point, she started screaming so much and her eyes were bulging out in excruciating pain and I called the nurse but they didn’t know what to do. So they called the Doctor but he was busy playing golf. Then my Mom suddenly wrote to call Dr Nick, her palliative Doctor which I immediately did. But Dr Nick said he could not just interfere with another Doctor’s patient and until the ENT Doctor handed her over, then only could he take action. It is the medical protocol. Protocol my ass.

Frantically, we tried leaving messages for her ENT Doctor and the nurses at Gleneagles were so lepak that my Aunt went ballistic on them because they just didn’t care that here was a patient suffering worse than in labour and all they did was try to call the ENT? Well, they weren’t trying hard enough. Is there only ONE person to call in an emergency? For goodness sake, what kind of hospital is this? Do they care? Do they care? Do they really care? Of course they care!!!

ABOUT MONEY.

When they finally got the ENT, he was told to call Dr Nick and he said OK but by 9pm, Dr Nick had still not gotten his call. Mind you, this Dr Nick was on leave in Seremban when we contacted him on emergency. He was kind enough to pick up my call despite it being so late and on a Public Holiday night as well. And at the end of it all, despite sounding very sleepy over the phone, he stayed awake waiting for the ENT Doctor to call him. He kept calling us to make sure the ENT was going to call him and it was just one big mess and merry go around between us, Dr Nick, the ENT and the nurses. I could have killed the nurses, really I could have. As I think back about it now, I wish I had done so. Some nurses really have such bad attitudes and for the one particular nurse who helped, she was a tall Singh girl and I will always remember her. At the road side when we saw her, we thanked her again profusely. Meanwhile, my Mom was sweating and exhausted from clenching her entire body from the pain passing out a few times but kept getting revived.

At 8pm, some Muslim strangers entered the suite and I was shocked wondering who they were. It turned out that they were my Muslim friend’s sisters! They had come to pray for my Mom. Bless them forever after. My Aunt was distraught watching my Mom in agony but I was calm, holding it all together.

It was so painful for me to watch the woman who gave me life, the woman who raised me to become who I am today, the one who was always on my side teaching me how to always be one up on men, the woman who led by her shining example in the act of giving selflessly; she was suffering like a group of rebels had slayed her with huge open wounds bleeding and left for death.

Her legacy of treating people kindly lives within me. We have so many memories and I will cherish them forever. And at that moment, I asked God, please take her. Please let her die. My Aunt was crying. By that time, my brothers were there and the Hubs had just arrived from Kota Bharu with the kids. We were all just there. Helpless.

Just before the stroke of midnight, that darn call happened and instructions were given to the nurses to administer the Morphine via drip. They loaded her up increasing every hour. Dr Nick stayed up that night till 2am waiting for Mom to be comfortable before he went to bed and said he would be in in the morning to see her. Now that is the sign of a true Doctor, one that does his work hand on his heart.

It was a night of surrealism. Those who needed sleep had left. All was left behind in the suite was silence and a few tudung ladies in black praying continuously for my Mother. The lights were dimmed and it looked kind of spooky but there was nothing, absolutely nothing to be afraid of. The entire suite was blessed, I could feel it merely by the love from these ladies who had brought their children along and stayed with me all night and eventually, not even all night but right up to the next evening. Can you just imagine? A complete stranger whom I’ve never met in my life, nor has my Mom, stayed with us by her Death Bed praying for a whole 23 hours without sleep. She just stayed with me throughout the entire ordeal and taught me what to do.

That night, I could not sleep. Mom was trying to sleep, heavily drugged and I could tell it wasn’t long more before God took her. She had to be given Oxygen via the tubes because her lungs were giving way and she was so weak that she needed a bed pan. Throughout this whole time, she would communicate with me via a note pad because she could no longer speak. Her writing was barely legible and towards the end got worse and worse till I could no longer understand what she was trying to write. One of it was asking my SIL to boil her some green bean soup for tomorrow. You see? She wasn’t ready to die!!! Or she would not have made that request. That night, from 3-6am, I sat beside her watching her alone with one other tudung lady (who kept praying) and all I could feel was love. Her right hand was full of tubes and was at 90 degrees from the horizontal bed. It was so strange but I remember that image very clearly and even took a picture of it. It was a bit like her hand had rigor mortis.

Knock! Knock! Dr Nick had arrived at 7.30am exactly after Mom had just fallen asleep not long ago. She had to be woken up because he needed to talk to her. I cannot believe he had come in so early and it wasn’t even his day at Gleneagles, yet he came all the way just to see her. He had left Seremban at 5am. And we all knew what time he went to bed. Bless him indeed. So at 7.30am, he told Mom that he was going to give her more Oxygen as her one lung had collapsed with pneumonia and her breathing sound resembled church bells on a Sunday. And THAT was the point when I knew Mom had given up because she said no. No Oxygen…….

After which the Doctor pulled us aside and told us to expect the worse today. If she pulls through, she’d only last another 1-2 weeks. If she didn’t, she’d go today. I didn’t cry. I wanted her to go. I then went back to her bed side and told her, please go, Mom. I cannot stand seeing you like this anymore. It’s been 14 years. Let us end this suffering.

I then got a text from an amazing Muslim friend telling me to recite the Quran to her, so I did and the tudung lady helped me. I had to memorise the verse La Ilallah Ilahi something something obviously all forgotten now! And I kept repeating it aloud non-stop whilst holding her bony hand that still wore a diamond encrusted ring in the alphabet M. On her death bed, she was still wearing rings and bracelets and even earrings! That was Mom for  you.

When the sun rose, Mom gave me the thumbs up when she saw how I was reciting the verses of the Quran. I kissed her and kept asking her if there was anyone I should call to inform them that she was here. She only named 2 friends (both of whom were abroad) and no family. I kept asking her if she was sure and she kept nodding gently. She looked content. In fact she looked very happy. Soon after, my brother arrived with the kids and they played outside whilst I continued to stay by my beloved mother’s side. The tudung lady there the entire time praying……

Just before noon, the ENT Doctor showed up and I had to restrain myself from punching him. He came in to check her out for about 5 seconds and left. At noon, Mom started looking at the ceiling behind me with her eyeballs roaming just behind me towards the ceiling. It was bizarre. I looked up and behind to see what she was looking at but there was nothing. I asked her what she was looking at? She closed her eyes and with one deep breathe, which looked like she was choking for a split second, she released her last breathe. The weight on my shoulders lifted with the angels as they took her soul. I did not cry. I had wished for this and my wish was granted. I did not even panic. I just stayed with her listless body having a moment before I walked outside to call my brother but he had gone downstairs to get some food for the girls. I didn’t call anyone. It was just……I was just………numb. I hadn’t slept for a whole 36 hours by then. I hadn’t eaten either as I did not want to leave her side. When my brother arrived back, he was upset that I hadn’t called him. When my other brother arrived later, he broke down. I am sure that the moment she died, every one who had something to do with her who was close to her would have felt it. Felt something. As for me, I had the most beautiful experience. I was happy. God had finally taken her.

But the next thing was knowing what to do next. Suddenly, praise be to God for my sister, and I tell you all these blessings are thrown at me for a reason! She advised us diligently that Petronas had a complimentary funeral service for Directors and so immediately, we got onto Tok-Tok’s PA to get her to organise it. By 1-2pm, the suite was filled with people. There was the immediate family, Tok-Tok included, with 2 of my bestest friends, the PA, the Petronas coordinator, the nurses who were doing the last medical procedures, and my aunt. It was chaotic!!! My Aunt had lost it as she had arrived 5 minutes just after Mom passed away. I was the most calm one of all. My girls were a bit lost. Probably in shock.

Mom’s body was cleaned in the hospital and wrapped in a white cloth. Brought down to the morgue to wait for the funeral transport which went to the wrong hospital! Petronas. Haha. Anyway, everyone else arrived at the KLCC mosque before we did. Only me and the tudung lady travelled with Mom in the white timber coffin draped with a black and green velvet runner with gold inscriptions. Oh, T1 came with us too and she was crying non-stop the entire journey. Not only did the funeral car go to the wrong hospital, the driver took an extra long route as well to the mosque!!!! Anyway, at the mosque, we arrived in style whilst everyone was already seated. More people had arrived as news passed although I didn’t really tell anyone as I was to exhausted and too busy making decisions and such.

We had some drama at the hospital prior because they had wanted to put my Mom’s body at some obscure cemetery located near Batu Caves. I said NO!! Absolutely not. Mom had told me several times already every time we passed by the Bukit Kiara Cemetery that she had wanted to be buried there because she knew that if she was buried anywhere else, none of us would come to visit her. She was right!!! In accordance to her death wish, I fought hard and insisted that we got a plot at the Bukit Kiara Cemetery and again by the grace of God, we managed to get it. THAT was when I cried. It was THAT important to me, and to Mom……

At the mosque, they had asked for her immediate family and children to enter the surau where they took a whole hour to bathe her body. It was my first time experiencing anything like this and I was wondering why the heck they would allow my brothers to watch Mom being bathed! But the 2 ladies in there who did the very meticulous cleaning of the body were professional. They covered her body at all times with several pieces of batik. And they were SO THOROUGH that they even cleaned her fingernails, her ears, the back of her ears, her nostrils, EVERYWHERE!!!!! That’s why it was a one hour shower!!! When they were finally done, it was already about 6pm when we had to put her back into the coffin and go into the mosque for more prayers before departing for the cemetery.

There, the hole in the ground was ready and immediately, she was lifted by Tok-Tok and my brothers with some help from the funeral car straight into the hole in the ground laid side ways facing Mekah. Prayers were recited and we had to pour water and flowers on top of the grave. I had not changed since I had left Kota Bharu and had not slept for close to 48 hours by then. Completely zombified. It took a few days to recover from that out of body state but Mom was in peace. I knew it and felt it in my bones.

The weeks after that were painful because we had to go back to her room to see to her belongings and it took us weeks. No, months, to finally clear everything. I’m not quite sure which part exactly is defined as grieving but I don’t feel as though I have grieved. In fact, people have been saying why am I posting on facebook when I should be grieving. Maybe Mom doesn’t WANT me to grieve. She has always wanted us to be happy. Like seriously happy. Not a second to be wasted on the stupidity of the world. And she loved her grandchildren so, SO MUCH. It was felt. It was shown. In magnanimous ways. And of course her love for her entire family shone in everyone of us. She was Mom. The matriarch of our family. The Gabriel family.

This was Mom’s last Birthday celebration in 2014 where she barely managed to get out of the house. It was just this once to celebrate her birthday and only for an hour. Yet she could manage a smile despite already being very sick.

This was a week before Mom left us. All skin and bones. I remember that day clearly as her old class teacher from Taiping had come to visit her. And Mom told me, this is the teacher who helped me get away from the abuse of Grandma. I was truly impressed that this teacher (her name is Sister Claire) had taken a bus to come see my Mom and had raised an adopted girl with Cerebral Palsy. It is people like these, whom I bow down to. People like the Children of Myanmar, who bring these blessings into my life. I have not done much but still, they flow in. Perhaps my Mother’s karma carries on within me……

Mom. She gave us EVERYTHING.

Heal Diabetes in Malaysia

My act of service to the Malaysian Government is to help heal diabetes in Malaysia. Do you know that by the year 2020, every 1 in 5 of us would be diabetic and that more than 3 million Rakyat Malaysia are already diabetic? That’s a whopping 10%, yo! And quite likely the next 10% have heart disease and who knows what. We are such a sick nation, man. Diabetes in Malaysia is one of Malaysia’s biggest health problems and why do you think? Hey, we are the country with the most delicious food ever!!! EVER!!!!

Let’s see, there is nasi lemak (full of coconut fat-ness), roti canai (full of ghee fat-ness), curries, chicken rice (full of chicken oil fat-ness), rice, rice, rice, noodles, noodles, noodles, all the Nyonya desserts, curry puffs and pancakes, Mee Mamak, KFC, deep fried pastries such as Muruku and Goreng Pisang, Teh Tarik, Char Kuay Teow, Curry Mee, and hey, that’s just the MALAYSIAN section of food choices.

This is compounded by the fact that there is a large group of people who are uneducated about food which leads them to teach the next generation only what they know. I have seen many times Mothers buying junk for their kids and even when the kids do not know any better, Mothers introduce these junk to kids. By the time the kid reaches 8-10, they are obese.

So with so many sick people with diabetes, wouldn’t it be nice to heal diabetes in Malaysia? Laugh away, haha….Yup, I’m laughing too. But if every one of us do a little part, we could move mountains. People need to be educated first and foremost because prevention is always better than cure. And then those who already have diabetes, depending on what degree and how serious their diabetes is, they could either change their lifestyle completely to effect change, or consume Hydrogen Water with Lutein Vegetable capsules. Why am I promoting this Hydrogen water and Lutein products? Because they freaking work and if there is light at the end of the tunnel for people, why ever not?

I took a special interest in diabetes because I’m at high risk of developing diabetes. Not only do I have a strong family history of diabetes but I have a sickeningly sweet tooth. Like I’m seriously addicted to sugar and would go into epileptic fits if I didn’t get my daily dose of sugar kind of crazy. Both my pregnancies were plagued with gestational diabetes. So rather than get it and be dependent on insulin jabs forever, I took the effort to research what this Izumio Hydrogen water and Super Lutein vegetable stuff was about and how they affected diabetes. It wasn’t just find any info from the net and bang it. I wanted real stuff from real sources. And I had to read every one of them to be convinced. The fact that my own buddies had lowered their diabetic markers after consuming the products within a month wasn’t enough for me. I needed to understand why exactly Hydrogen and Lutein would balance out sugar levels. What was the science behind it?

In short, Hydrogen is the smallest chemical atom in the periodic table. Heck, do you remember those? Those who were in the Arts Stream wouldn’t but those in the Science Stream would have memorised the freaking entire periodic table. I know I did!!!!! Hydrogen is a potent free radical scavenger that goes around your body hunting for free radicals. Thus if your body has a lot of free radicals, you will suffer from oxidative stress which then converts into disease. Hydrogen will pull the bad germs off your good cells so they heal and become good again. Lutein is more straightforward. They have done studies to show that people with no glucose intolerance have much higher levels of beta-carotenoids in their bodies. Thus having Lutein in the body in higher levels actually prevents diabetes from happening as it also increases the metabolic rate of the body. These have all been researched.

So if you do know anyone who is diabetic or potentially diabetic, please do something about it. It’s not fun living with an illness what more one that could make you go blind or make you lose your foot or leg! Come on! There is so much to live for out there. Get yourselves healthy and seize the moment! Opportunities await and there is so much to see in the world still!!

Here are some links by independent studies done by reputable organisations such as the National Center for Biotechnological Information that is under the library of the National Library of Medicine of the American Government; that are not associated to Izumio and Super Lutein in any way:-

Lutein protects the effects of high glucose levels

Non-diabetics have higher levels of beta-carotenoids in their bodies (page 67)

Lutein and kidney problems from Diabetes

Lutein and eye problems from Diabetes

Help your eyes with Lutein when you have Diabetes

Hydrogen Water improves Diabetes 2011

Hydrogen Water improves Diabetes 2008

More information about Hydrogen as a chemical element

Drinking Hydrogen Water is equivalent to Diet Restrictions (good for diabetics and for losing weight)

Anti-oxidation effect of Hydrogen Water on Diabetics

Let us work together to help heal diabetes in Malaysia. It is not fun to be diabetic.

Keeping Kids Healthy

Keeping kids healthy has always been a number one priority in my household. In their early years, we have spent countless times visiting Doctors and sleeping in hospitals albeit not every incident was down to illness but enough was enough. We actually had a goal one year to stay out of hospital and we drew out a plan on how we were going to achieve it. We were that crazy because we were just so sick of hospitals! Thankfully, we succeeded by not going remotely near anyone who was mildly sick and we ate lots of vegetables and fruit. The next year, the goal became staying out of hospitals and not visiting the Doctors at all. We succeeded in that too, same strategy. No touching the rain either and keeping warm whenever it got chilly, especially covering up our chests. It is now our 2nd year running without staying in a hospital nor visiting a Doctor AND not getting even the most minor flu.

And although I stand by having a healthy diet being the utmost priority in the kids’ lifestyle, with what we went through last year, I don’t think even the most healthy diet could have helped us. We traveled Europe for 5 weeks with lots of jet lag and tiredness from daily 10km walks (I kid you not, the Hubs carried T2 after about 6km daily), we experienced 2 deaths in the family within 7 weeks from each other circa September 2014 (which was also T1’s birthday time), and we experienced several other mishaps that caused undue family stress. So lots of stress and lots of sleepless nights. Did we have anyone to help us? No.

Yet, none of us fell ill. If you knew my immune system, you would know I wouldn’t have survived that. Previously not seeing the Dr didn’t mean I didn’t get sick. I did. Just not sick enough to warrant a visit.

Did we just get lucky? No. I truly owed my life last year to Izumio Hydrogen Water (Hydrogenated water in high doses) and Super Lutein Vegetable Capsules (extremely high dosage of fruit and vegetables of all colours of the rainbow from the extract and essence of fruit and vegetables; the Carotenoids, the Lutein, etc).

image

Really.

If you know me, you would know that I am extremely careful about simply taking supplements as I do not believe in them at all. AT ALL. I only believe in eating fresh food from source. And my friends will know how dogmatic I am about not taking supplements. We have no Vitamin C pills, no Multivitamins, no Omega pills, no Vitamin B, nor calcium nor anything really!!! What we do have are cod liver oil pills but even then just sat in the cupboard looking pretty. I’m sure I’ve bought them all before and because we do not take them, are just a waste of my money. And I’ve found that through eating an abundant amount of fruit and vegetables, like a LOT, seriously a LOT and that means, if we have a home dinner for the 4 of us, it would be 5 fists of spinach, 5 fists of beans and 5 fists of broccoli and a small portion of protein. Fist size would be my fist size, 3x3x2.5 inches? THAT much. And we are most of the time super full. And then throughout the day, we eat fruit at every meal. And that is what it took to keep us healthy. Plus 2-3 litres of water for the adults and at least 1-1.5 litres for the kids.

Everything I do or buy, every place I go, I research to death before deciding. So the same with this Hydrogen water and Lutein stuff. It took me a year of research and pondering before I finally started buying it for the entire family. Previously, a friend (bless her!) had given me a batch to try and that is what saved us just before we went to Europe in May 2014 as we were being threatened with a flu then but as soon as we all took a packet of Izumio Water, we were fine to travel the next day. Panicking like shit, I packed half a dozen packets of Izumio water into my suitcase in case any of us got sick in Europe but thank Heavens no. Can you imagine if any of us got sick on our wonderful, wonderful trip to Europe? THANK YOU, IZUMIO!!!

I must have read over 20,000 words on Hydrogenated Water and Super Lutein and read tons of reviews, spoken to lots of people, before I committed to buying them for my family and wow, I am now so pleased that I have. And the reason apart from the fact that I am just anal like that, I actually felt more sick after taking the water for the first few days. But once that phase was over, I started feeling better and better. Generally, I have much more energy as a Mom and whenever I have a late night out indulging in errr……let’s call it bad habits, the Izumio water allowed me to function as fit as a fiddle the next day. I loved it. It gave me a passport to have more late nights out. Heh.

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What it also did was detect my underlying health issues, heart disease and now a lump in my colon which I have not gotten tested for yet. Just wow. I am pleased, so pleased that I am detecting these ailments now rather than when it gets too late. As you know, some cancers have no symptoms at all and suddenly you are told you are at Stage 4 cancer. Like WTF, right? Now, I have hope. I am positive. I am so looking forward to keeping my family healthy for life. We will continue eating healthy but of course, and we will continue to juice, but I am so sure that the Izumio and Lutein play a significant role in protecting my kids. In keeping kids healthy……….

This is why. Previously, we were not allowed to go into rain as we would get sick after the rain touched our heads. Also, whenever we came into contact with sick people, the chances of us getting sick were very high. Despite all the stress factors, lack of sleep and environmental shit that were against us last year, and we actually tested this out several times AFTER I started giving the kids Izumio water and Lutein caps daily. Want to go out into the rain? Go!! Want to see our Aussie cousins who were sick when they came down? No problem. I was so confident and my hubs was so worried as he knew that if any of us were sick, his life got turned upside down so why take the risk? I kept telling him, NO PROBLEM……and I proved him right!!! Till today!!!

So yes, I swear by these 2 products in keeping kids healthy. In fact, we decided that if I were to need chemotherapy, I might just skip that and consume a higher dosage of Izumio and Lutein instead. Why not? I know someone who was cured of leukaemia and another who was cured from eczema. So many ailments improved from these two products alone, from diabetes, to back ache to arthritis. One lady’s cancer tumour got reduced within 2 weeks. These are all real people within my social network. Too good to be true? Believe it. I do. It works for me and my family and saves us lots of hospital bills and time going to the Doctors. There will always be skeptics but they’re the ones still getting sick, not me.

The products are safe for children and babies, can be consumed or applied (heck another story for another day! Because I have just learnt the wonders of topical application of the product!), and are filled with potent goodness, no fillers at all. No preservatives. Just natural goodness, even better than the quality of vegetables we get from our local supermarkets.

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Best of all, my kids love taking them because there is no after taste and the capsule is small. It can be chewed or swallowed. The taste is of dark green vegetables mixed with fish oil. Eweeee!!!!! But T1 loves it. Eweeee!!!!! And then after finishing up her Izumio, she will play with the packet, blowing it up big big like a helium balloon, and then deflating again. They do all sorts of silly experiments with my health products, my 2 monkeys.

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But at the end of the day, if it is keeping them super healthy, hey, I’m sold. I love the fact that we do not have to visit Doctors and Hospitals anymore for bronchitis, or the common cold, flus, coughing and asthma, fevers, you name it. It really saved us from being under the weather last year as you just cannot imagine what it is like to go through a Chinese Funeral where you cannot sleep for days into changing your family dynamics because you have been diagnosed with a leaking aorta, and then BOOM, your mother dies and you have to arrange her funeral, belongings, estate matters, then BOOM AGAIN, the family feuds and drama that unfolded…….my entire life savings that could have bought a property wiped out in a flash.

FUYOH!!! We survived all that la…..

TOUCH WOOD. And Alhamdullilah.

I do not need pity

I do not need pity
At any point of my life
Whether I get deported
Whether my child gets bullied
If I am left with debt
I do not need pity

The grass may always be greener
But not for me
As I have lived more rainbows than so many
Despite not living half a century
I’m so ready for the hurls of rocks
That anyone has to throw at me (gasp, and they have!!)

I do not need pity
Despite the deaths of 2 strong ladies
Extremely vital to my heart arteries
Despite the reality that I could be next
From years of abuse to my health vexed
Still I do not need pity

Any tears you have for me
Should be directed to the nation
Who weeps this year for reasons
Unexplained through the seasons
Just 3 more days…..
Malaysia, my love without question

I do not need pity
Really I don’t so please spare me
Thank you, thank you and thank you
But I have great work to do
Please help me get there
My little contribution in changing the world
If you really do care
Spare me your words
Show me your actions
If you really do care
For I don’t want pity
I don’t need bitchy
I need strong, capable women
In achieving my mission
My little contribution in changing world vision…..
 

Boxing Day 2014

Boxing Day 2014

The year is almost at it’s end and what a year it has been! Full of eternal blessings! Boxing Day 2014 was awesome today because the Hubs was on leave. Why ever do they not make it a public holiday here like in the UK? After all, Chinese New Year and Hari Raya get the entire week off almost (ok, 2 days from the Government is enough for folks to take the entire week off! And most schools are closed for the week anyway!). They should really do the same for Christmas and Deepavali. *pout*

Boxing Day 2014 was filled with love, lots of it, and as always, we laughed till the sun smiled and giggled till our sides ached. That is what our lives are about these days. No more time for others so much anymore.

The history of Boxing Day derives from tradesmen in the olden days getting boxes of gifts from their employers for a year full of good work. It also marks the day the Church opens the boxes of donations to distribute money to the poor. Why don’t they just call it Box day then?!?!?!? For all my childhood years, I always thought Mohamed Ali was the saviour on Boxing Day!! The fuck????

We started our Boxing Day 2014 with badminton with the kids. 2 hours of it. Plenty to work up a good sweat and although we had great plans to continue with table tennis and a swim, the weather got the better of us and we watched the Night at The Museum movie instead. We also managed to sneak a reflexology session in, T2 and I.

I’m so proud of myself for planning the schedule and goals of my year ahead. *pats self* Now to work on that budget for 2015 that the Hubs has been nagging me at since I am no longer working.

Arghhhhh!!!! I hate budgets!!!

Holidays for next year? Europe? New Zealand? Japan? New York?

The Children of Myanmar

The Children of Myanmar

It has been awhile since I’ve shared any updates on the Children of Myanmar, my extended family. It is only because I myself have had an extremely eventful year but it doesn’t mean they have been disregarded at all. No way.

Since we first met them in 2011, so much development has happened and they have really grown so much. We now have a Youth Centre in Yangon (managed by our dedicated Malaysian friend, Eileen Lui) that serves as a stepping stone for the children who have limited interest in furthering their education.

This year in February, these children were taught how to run a soya bean making business. Soya bean to nourish and provide more nutrition to the very poor children around Myanmar (there are over 100 homes that seriously need nutrition).

The youth centre of 800 square feet on the ground floor of a flat dwelling called Yen Niew Housing, houses 5 boys who are in charge of running this Soya Bean business called SoyAi. The rental of this place is USD 850 per month. Other costs include utilities and food, supplies and machinery for the production of Soya Bean milk.

The boys wake up at 5am each morning 7 days a week (yes, no rest!) to start washing the beans, 2kg at a time because that is the capacity of the machine that we lugged over from KL. The yield of 2kg makes 36 bottles of 350ml and the entire process of cooking 6kg of soya beans to make just 108 bottles is 3.5 hours from start to end. After the washing of the beans, they hand pick out any rotten beans and grind them. Whilst the beans are being cooked, they sterilise the bottles and prepare stickers for dating the bottles, and then start bottling them up after they have cooked and cooled and triple sieved. Straight into the fridge they go until it is time for delivery to the orphanages. They can only fit 100 bottles into a cooler box for one taxi delivery and after delivery, they take the bus back with their empty cooler box. If the delivery to any one home is more, the customer pays for extra transportation fees. Taxi fare in Myanmar is about USD 2 for every 10km.

Each SoyAi bottle in helping the Children of Tomorrow costs USD 0.50 or 500 Kyat. We have corporate sponsors buying them per annum for orphanages of their choice, or individual sponsors. If you would like to help build the future of the Children of Myanmar, please contact me or go to their Facebook page (children of tomorrow) to make your order. In all these sales that are entirely managed by these 5 boys as a team under the guidance of Eileen, 30% goes back to the younger children for education, 30% goes to the development of the SoyAi team (for example if they want to take up specific courses or decide to study again), 30% goes back into the business for supplies, wages and upkeep, and the remaining 10% are profit sharing between the boys for all their very hard work. It is bloody hard work.

Last weekend alone, the boys managed to secure a booth at a popular shopping mall and were busy with a target of 1,200 bottles to sell. T1 helped them for 2 hours and was hungry and exhausted already. I told her that these boys had until 10pm to sell them….from 9am to 10pm, with 3 boys at the booth and 2 at home making the soya bean. It is a whole days work to make 600 bottles. That is 7-8 hours work. The difficult part is actually selling these bottles to the general public as not everyone is charitable nor likes soya bean milk. If they do manage to sell the entire batch of 600 bottles though then it will be success!!!! But even then, do you know that after working really hard, the boys get to save a maximum of RM100-150 a month?

But at least it is money that has come from their own hard work and not from pure donations and begging off the streets. There are still underaged children in Myanmar who are bought by restaurant owners who are made to work 16-18 hour days and then locked up in cages for fear they run away. Yes, really.

So I would so appreciate it if you could pledge some nutrition to the orphans in Myanmar at the same time you support the SoyAi team who work tirelessly just to build a better future for themselves. It is USD 0.50 per bottle of Soya Bean, cheaper and fresher not to mention better quality than you buy them here in KL from your local soya bean van vendor, and you get to help the Children of Myanmar build a better future for themselves.

I’ve personally tasted this fresh soya bean made by them and it is very, very good. If you do not believe me, come over to Yangon to see this all for yourselves. Just look how far they have come.

I am so, so very proud of them!!!

Frozen at TGV Cinemas – What a blast!

Last Sunday, we attended a special Premiere Frozen Screening at TGV Cinemas at Sunway Pyramid which allowed the audience to sing along to the movie just like in a karaoke. It was so fun and the first time that children could actually make noise in a cinema instead of all the hushing. It was also the first time I’d seen so many little Queen Elsa’s in my entire life.

TGV Cinemas are still doing this sing along Frozen movie screenings so if you have a little girl who’s a Frozen and Queen Elsa fan, go!! They would love it. My T2 sure did. They are screening the Frozen sing along at selected TGV cinemas such as at One Utama and Sunway Pyramid amongst others.

Do go to the TGV website here to confirm Frozen sing along screening times at your nearest TGV Cinema.

I shall let the pictures speak for themselves:

Just look at my little Princess Elsa with her matching blue Hello Kitty hairband that she shamelessly asked to customise from Jo’s Bowz. And Jo from Jo’s Bowz kindly obliged and not only did she oblige with “I want a blue Hello Kitty Bow Hair Band”, she also put T2’s name onto it on the bow. I was thinking she already had a problem searching for blue Hello Kitty? Isn’t Hello Kitty pink?

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T2 got to meet our real life sized Queen Elsa but didn’t want to stand with Elsa alone so I had to accompany her. Darn, I should’ve just donned my crystal embroidered Elsa gown, huh?!

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This little Elsa Anna was so cute in her red wig. We called her the confused Elsa!

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T2 got her nails painted in Elsa blue, but of course……it’s also her new favourite colour, by the way. Turqoise-y blue…..

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Every little Elsa received a party pack that included some Frozen paraphernalia and some gift vouchers (one of which came in handy to us – A brand new Elsa school bag!!!). So guess who will be traipsing into big school with it?

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T2 spent some time checking out her party pack and did some drawing and colouring whilst waiting for all the other little Elsa’s to get their nails and faces painted. She wasn’t interested in getting any gunk on her face as she has been brainwashed to believe that she is beautiful just the way she is sans make up.

 

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She was well chuffed with her new Elsa pencil case!!! Thank you, TGV!!! This is all packed into her new Elsa school bag and she’s all ready for big school in January.

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Finally, we made our way into the cinema to watch the Frozen movie but first, some introductions and for the first time, I saw my little shy, timid T2 voluntarily raise her hand in answering some questions. Some kids are so gregarious and confident like T1 but T2, she’s a silent observer. So for her to interact with others, especially strangers, is a big thing. She is definitely on her way there into the big world. Slowly but surely.

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There was the Yamaha choir performing Let it Go before the movie began……

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Followed by the Little Elsa’s choir to the karaoke styled movie. For the first time ever, you can sing along to a movie in Malaysia so please take your little ones to go watch this sing along Frozen at TGV in 1-Utama or Sunway Pyramid (other cinema locations on the TGV website) because it is an experience in itself. Fun!!! T2 got off her butt to start dancing and singing…..and dreaming…..

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And to end with a bang, TGV surprised the little kids with snow!!!! Yes!!! Suddenly there was snow falling on everyone from up above and the kids went wild. I should’ve brought my umbrella.

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This was T2’s mood after the event. She was on a high, dancing and singing, despite no lunch. From 10am till 3pm, all we had was pop corn!!! This I felt TGV should have advised so that we would have brought in our own lunch. These are children we are dealing with, not adults.

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But she was fine really. The high of it took the attention off hunger. Still we dragged her into a restaurant to eat. Not one of her favourite past times, eating……so unlike her Mama.

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I repeat, if your child is a Frozen fan or even if she isn’t, go for the experience of being able to sing along in a movie cinema. The lyrics are there so you don’t have to know it by heart. Fun!!!

Helping people without expectation

Helping people without expectation is something I learnt this year. Never too late, eh? I never used to expect much but would always smile when a thank you was offered. You know, just someone saying thank you or feeling the gratitude that you have extended yourself to help them? Yes, I kind of expected a thank you or at the very least, have the feeling that the person I helped feels thankful just by their smile. Until the people I helped stabbed me in the back. I found it so hard to accept that the people whom I had helped and had only good intentions for would have the heart to make ill of me. I suppose there are all sorts to make the world interesting. It hurt but I learnt real quick with the support of a few honest people.

So now I don’t even expect a thank you. Strangers ask for help on a frequent basis and wherever I can, I will help. Apart from the media who requests for interviews or University students who use this blog as case studies or my homeschooling journey experience, what brings me the most joy is being able to help individuals who are suffering and struggling. Genuine ones.

I am currently thinking of one such woman who resides in Brunei who reached out to me with her struggles.

‘Dear CS, if you are reading, this is for you.

Until today, we have yet to meet but I think of you frequently and pray for you and your children, including your third angel. I pray for your continued peace and happiness and I pray that everything is falling into place for you since 2012 when the stars aligned us to start a conversation online. You have made me so happy by trusting me with photos of your children and again I have joy in my heart when I see the progress you have made since 2012 till earlier this year. You go girl!!! If it is any consolation at this late stage, I wanted to share with you what I found out after my Mother passed away…….

She had accidentally gotten pregnant with me at the innocent age of 16  whilst in secondary school in Taiping. By the time it was SPM year, she realised she was pregnant. Being a sporty girl, not having her period was not uncommon so she had no idea she was pregnant till much later. But as soon as she found out she was pregnant, it was almost too late to do anything. However, when her Mother found out she was pregnant, she hit the roof and ordered her to go for an abortion, with me in her tummy at 7 months before asking her to leave the home. Being a senior nurse, my grandmother knew full well that if you went for an abortion (illegal then and still is, but probably much safer now), the risk of the mother dying was very high. This was not a C-section to remove the baby professionally. This was a backyard clothes hanger kind of abortion.

My Mom begged her father to allow her to keep her baby and so she was sent to Kuching (because my Grandfather was stationed there) to hide away from school and the shame of my stressed out grandmother. And then when my Grandmother had to visit Kuching, they posted my Mom to a convent in Singapore secretly instead to have the baby, and this is why I was born in Singapore.

After having the baby, again my Mom had to fight to keep me. When Grandma found out that Mom had had the baby, she gave the baby away to a Malay family who named me Lily. After 6 months, Mom begged and begged her father to get me back so I don’t know what stunts they pulled and fought to get me back after which Mom said they put a charm on the baby because the baby cried non-stop for a long time before settling…..

But due to the rage from my grandmother that Mom had done so wrong in having an illegitimate child, she punished Mom by locking me up in a room all day in a play pen and made Mom do all the housework and laundry for 11 people and she was only allowed to see me to feed me. The baby cried all day, of course…..till Mom could no longer take it anymore and ran away from home with me. She shared a little room with 2 other girlfriends and found a job at King’s Agency as a Secretary that paid her RM100 per month and best of all, allowed her to bring her toddler to work. By the time I was 2+, she decided that it was too difficult being a single mother as most times she had to starve herself just so she could feed me. Soon after, she met a man and married him…….

This wasn’t the end of her struggles but at least I turned out the way I did. So have faith that your three angels will be just fine. I am waiting to meet you, CS, to give you that big long hug. To always believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel even when you cannot even see a glimpse of it. It is a beautiful life indeed so we must all strive to see it and enjoy it the best we can. And if we can help another without expectation, the blessings we receive back are insurmountable. Trust me, I’ve been there. And God will know if your intentions are from the depths of your heart or with an agenda before showering you with these blessings.

As my Mom would say, “Allhamdullilah!”

Her last words on her last breathe were “Allahu Akhbar……”

Purging out Toxins

Now that I am slowly in the process of purging out the toxins from my body, gosh, this would take years…..I am finally conscious and aware of all the money saving tricks the commercial industry plays on us ignorant souls. I cannot afford to be ignorant anymore. There is a reason why you pay more for organic (if you have indeed verified that it is) and there is a reason why you should not dry clean your clothes or use fluoride toothpaste. I’ve learnt so much, SO MUCH, just by having this wake up call to take charge of my own body. Eat, go ahead and eat all you want……..till it hits you.

If you do not value your life, then yes, go ahead and continue using your paraben shampoo and cosmetics. Continue using laundry softeners to make your towels soft and sweet smelling. Drink your water without a water filter. Use lots of disinfectants to clean and sanitize. Eat more canned food and carbohydrates from the hawkers, take more pills for your pain. Processed foods is a sure killer. If you want to die faster, please continue to use all of the above that injects at least a few pounds of toxins into your body every year. They accumulate slowly by surely and then bang!! You have kidney disease. Or liver malfunction. Or worse cancer.

Dry cleaning for one has lots of chemicals that are really bad for you. When you wear your clothes or inhale them, it penetrates through your skin. You feel nothing but it is happening. So do your due diligence. Just like your drinking water, do you have any idea where the water comes from? If you do not have a body that will prevent cleaning contamination, you should seriously think about drinking your water or at least take serious steps to ensure the water that enters your body is clean. These are all serious issues but only a small fraction of the population here takes any notice. I’m here to tell you, please take care of your health.

Just Be

I have reached a stage of my life without a strong mother figure now where I want to just be. There is no more persons to answer to, live up to, thus the time has come for me to really just be. I have no interest in new friends, exploring new things unless I so desire at any point in time and right now, I just want to live for myself. I will help myself first and foremost. Everyone else is secondary.

I know who my friends are. They are the same friends who have followed me through thick and thin through the years and despite not being in touch regularly, I know they are there for me when it really matters. The thing is, I am quite self sufficient. I have these friends because I truly love them and want them in my life, because they are such fantastic people, but not because I need them. I love them. And they love me.

All these fly by night friendships that people make and go through highs of euphoria and then dips of despair, those are not true friendships. They’re just time passers. I’ve had many of those too just as a consequence but have never taken anything at face value. And thankfully too, because it is only people who truly love you sincerely, who would be the ones who have no malice, no ego nor pride, no insecurities, no jealousy nor envy with you. And believe me, that is a hard thing for many women!

If they’re not envious of you for A, it will be B. If it isn’t B, it will be C. Sometimes egos get so hurt that they turn the tables around in defence then quietly lick their wounds. Sigh. I wish I could help them but I do not want to anymore. I need to spend my energy taking care of my own family instead of traipsing around town lunching like a tai-tai with too much time wiling it away. Why do people do that? I’m not one to judge but perhaps they live in emptiness or there isn’t a purpose. Because shit, life itself is so darn busy already. There is no time to waste at all.

So of late, I have been rather productive. On top of work and caring for my two girls without a freaking maid (let’s leave that story for another day, shall we?), I have been expanding my various little businesses. I have also begun decluttering the home since we have been unsuccessful in securing a penthouse and it is just too costly to move into a house. Probably best we save the cash for holidays instead, create more memories, and put aside a chunk for my medical expenses. My commitment to the Children of Myanmar stays, but of course.

Heart surgery will cost RM150,000 at IJN. Unfortunately, it is something that cannot be done non-invasively, so they would have to stop the heart and saw open the rib cage to change the aorta. Having it done in Singapore will probably cost double? I am hopeful though that my lifestyle change and the consumption of miracle food will reverse this condition.

The kids have been growing really fast and looking forward to the new school year. Me not so much, LOL!! Why? Because I just hate school runs. I have enjoyed them being home despite the fights and noise and the million times they drive me up the wall. It has all been worth it and if I had my way, I would still keep them home. But T1 wants to go back to school. She thrives on the competition and misses her friends. So we will pay through our backsides to keep her happy. T2 has been told she has no choice but to go to school, LOL!! She is so not ready not knowing a word of Bahasa nor Mandarin and never having done Math or Science so we shan’t be expecting any A grades from her!! But who cares? We are going to push her into the deep end anyway, LOL!! Sink or swim, little lady!! The Hubs has been my rock. He has worked hard to provide and I keep urging him to give up his job to work from home instead but so far he is unwilling. We could have so much fun together if he worked from home, or maybe we would kill each other, LOL!!

So that pretty much sums up what we’ve been up to at Chez Mamapumpkin. We visit Nana’s grave every weekend. The tombstone is currently under construction. We have all dreamt of her, some several times even; and we are going through the motions with the legalities that come with death. Come to think of it, even my MIL’s matters have not been finalised yet! We have to go through the Singapore court!! *major faint*

The  people who know me, know me. Those who don’t, don’t. At the end of the day, life is so simple. We do our best for our own families. From cooking healthy, clean meals to cleaning spotlessly. From reading to enrich our internal souls to reading to bond with the children, pique their psyche. From household management and finances to the little things that bring joy. It is so simple. Why complicate things?

Reminiscing the year

In less than 60 days which I am sure will just whiz pass, 2014 will end. Tis’ a bittersweet year for us as we had the best of the best and the worse of the worst.

Good points:

1. Girls got to experience Homeschooling and got a year off school to muck about and truly, they have learnt so much more than they ever would have at school.

2. We had the best holiday ever in Europe, spoilt with fabulous weather and glorious food, wonderful company and too much love. It was perfect.

Bad points:

1. Both my Mother-in-Law and Mother passed away within 7 weeks of each other which left us busy from one funeral to another. What more, handling death certificates with banks and lawyers is just not fun. I’m still at it!!!!!!!

2. I was diagnosed with heart disease. It has been the most terrifying shock to my system but I’ve accepted it now.

We are gearing up to return to school and I say that with great trepidation as I just do not look forward to school runs. Not at all. I know not what I will be doing with my life as such. There were plans to start new projects but someone behind me keeps pulling the ropes as though I was their horse! I could just be a Mom, the Stay At Home Mom, which I was for a whole 5 years before T2 came along. But what would I do when they are at school? Oh well, we’ll figure it out eventually. I’m sure there’s tons to do. I just have to stay focused and keep my eye on the hole. We have had an amazing life thus far. Things can only get better as our Moms now look down upon us, enveloping us with their abundance of love.

The girls miss Zermatt already…….we stayed at the best resort at Zermatt owned by a lovely Swiss couple called Coeur des Alpes. It was perfect in every way. There is just nothing that we had to complain about. We booked the Fireplace Suite and spent an entire 7 nights there. It was perfect. Oh, did I say that already?

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The resort had two swimming pools, yes TWO!!! One indoors and one outdoors and the girls swam in both!!! Several times over. The entire resort was just beautiful with views of the Matterhorn and we have decided to return soon for it’s magic.

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The suite came with its own coffee machine and big TV with fireplace and a living room with 2 single beds for the kids, a lovely bath tub and a separate water closet. We slept with views of the Matterhorn. It just couldn’t get any better.

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Breakfast was fabulously Swiss and perfect as well!!! They served cereals and muesli, eggs, fruit and pastries, nuts and cheese with meat and I cannot remember what else. The fresh orange juice was perfect using an Alessi juicer. Bread was to die for. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. And we could also sit outdoors to have breakfast with the Matterhorn.

Just can’t wait till we go back again. It is like our home away from home now……..Zermatt.

Ebola in Malaysia

Is Ebola in Malaysia? Who the hell knows. Apparently not but I never trust the local news so I am taking my own precautions. The reason I don’t trust the local news is because I know of several instances where not only very important issues go unreported but truth is slanted for political benefit. In fact, journalists from the media have told me themselves what it is like and how they have to just follow their Editor’s orders. It all boils down to the ruling party………..

Anyway, I have had a less than perfect year this year thus far but am still a survivor at large thanks to the introduction of Izumio Hydrogen Water and Lutein Caretenoids into my life. I seriously would be much worse off if it wasn’t for these 2 products that I have been consuming on a regular basis. I have not gotten sick at all this year. Every time I am about to, I up the dose of the Izumio Hydrogen water and voila, I am fine again.

I have had to deal with the stress of mean people bullying for 5 months, the death of 2 mothers in the last 2 months, a diagnosis of heart disease (this only means more money going out), having 2 kids at home full time and no maid since early March. I have organised 2 funerals and made post funeral arrangements for tomb stone designs and a pavilion for my MIL at the temple. All this takes time. I have had to deal with Syariah lawyers to organise the release of my Mom’s funds and property. My brothers and I are potentially faced with a 6 figure debt in which my stepfathers want no part of. So is this stressful? If I wasn’t as strong as my own mother, yes, I would be ill by now. Some people might even be suicidal. Mentally, I have no issues but physically, with this level of stress, in normal circumstances, I would definitely be ill. But now, I owe it to the Izumio Hydrogen water to keep me going.

As an aside, if you have been following this blog, my beloved Mother passed away finally after a long battle with cancer almost 2 weeks ago. I will write about that later.

So now with Ebola in Malaysia, despite my heart disease, heck, I want to protect myself as much as possible as I have 2 young children!! And I want to be able to spend as much time with them as possible right up to the time they have their own children!!

Here is the link for more information on Ebola if you are interested.

One of the things that will help your immunity is to drink Izumio Hydrogen water. I swear by it. I have seen with my own eyes how it has cured severe eczema and a friend was cured of shingles, and it is also supposed to be able to cure gangrene from diabetes and cure breast cancer. It has given me a new lease of energetic life. When one gets Ebola, the most critical thing that the hospital first does is to hydrate the body in abundance and if your body is weak, well, chances are you won’t have much of a chance. But with the Izumio Hydrogen water consumed regularly, it will convert all free radicals within my body to be as healthy as it can be so in the bad luck event that I have a chance in contracting the dreaded virus, at least I stand a chance in fighting it. I’d much rather be the 50% that survives than the 50% that dies.

Have you ever thought about Ebola in Malaysia? The world is so borderless today that these are very real issues that we now face.

Bugslock Mozzie Bands – Malaysia Bugslock

We have had trouble sourcing for the best mosquito repellents in Malaysia and have had very little luck so much so that I’ve just accepted it to be the way of life in Malaysia until now. Thankfully, Bugslock Malaysia contacted us to to test out their Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band last week and usually, I turn down such offers because I am just way busy but I thought this was a worthy item to investigate and my girls said yes!

They were thrilled to receive their Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band in their favourite colours in the post last week and wanted to test them out straight away. Such eager beavers, my girls……

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We decided to test drive the Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band at my Mom’s place because that area is infested with mosquitoes due to the nearby construction happening. If the Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band can keep them safe there, they can keep them safe anywhere, including the Teluk Intan Jungle Cemetery that we go to, deep, deep inside the jungle with hungry, deprived mosquitoes.

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They went cycling excitedly without fear…..

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So far so good after half an hour………

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They then proceeded to the resident playground where I received 7 mosquitoes glued to my shin ALL AT ONCE!!! I should have taken a photo but I freaked out and started hitting them frantically. Smacked quite a few as they were probably hungry and quite slow. I immediately paid attention to the girls to check how they were doing mozzie-wise and true enough……

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T2 has ONE bite. One miserable bite whilst I had like 20!!! And her bite happened to be on the back of the hand that did not wear the Bugslock Mozzie Band. In this case, I would say that the Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band works in very bad mosquito conditions but you need to wear one band each on each limb. I will definitely buy more bands so they have 4 bands each and then I will know they are guaranteed to be safe from mosquitoes.

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T1 had no mozzie bites at all but maybe because she was moving more than T2.

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So in that entire hour outdoors in Mozzie Death Valley, we only received about 20 mozzie bites on Mommy (because I did not have a Bugslock Mozzie Band!!!) and one bite on T2, who wore her Bugslock Mozzie Band on the hand which did not get bitten.

Would I recommend the product? Absolutely. Just make sure you wear 4 x Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band, one on each wrist and one on each ankle. And I can almost be sure that you will not get bitten. Unless they are good enough to get to your forehead!!!

Be mindful though, that there are many imitation Bugslocks in the market. Although the imitation Bugslock price is cheaper, it is ineffective and may even be harmful to your kids because it may contain chemicals. Authentic Bugslock have certification by the Korea Environment & Merchandise Testing Institute to prove that they are harmless and Bugslock is also registered under the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Apparently, there are many sellers selling fake (made in China) Bugslocks through the internet and even on very well known deal sites with low price. However, if you want the real deal, then go only to the ORIGINAL BUGSLOCK WEBSITE to own your first 4 Bugslock Mosquito Repellant Band today!

 

Uncle Ben moving to Chiangmai

Yes, it is true. Uncle Ben is moving to Chiangmai. What does this mean? This means he will be taking along with him the classic electric guitar with him but of course! I’m not sure which he loves more, his guitar or his wife? Kidding!!! He already has a house in Chiangmai and we have warned him that future visits to Chiangmai by us will be AT HIS HOUSE. We don’t mind sleeping on the floor as long as we have a blanket and pillows. Now I cannot wait to visit Chiangmai again…..

My Wake Up Call……

For the longest time, I’ve lived my life for others because life has been so good for me that I always felt undeserving, so I pass it on instead, every blessing that I can, because there are so many others out there who need help, and I have almost always been in a capacity to help. I am truly blessed. I may not have billions like Ananda Krishnan but I have more than enough in every way. Our lifestyle is moderate (I realise this is all relative) and even though the Hubs earns more, our lifestyle does not change. We have a benchmark and it will remain as that for the next 20 years. It is already a very comfortable benchmark.

And then I got my wake up call……..

Last week I spent 3 full days in hospital. The previous year I was in for a week with a cancer scare and it was the scariest time of my life!!! THAT didn’t wake me up though and although I was truly scared and did not tell a single soul short of one, I pulled through that incident. Last week though, was even scarier!!! I was crying my eyeballs out!!! For a week!!!

I was diagnosed with Aortic Valve Regurgitation. WTF is that? I didn’t have a freaking clue but all I know is that there was something wrong with my freaking heart. Not very comforting, I can tell you!!! It is a type of heart disease and what it means is I have to wake up and consider my life seriously because I will probably live less long of a life than someone without heart disease. BUT I can live a richer life in that shorter time. How’s that?

I cried to Heaven and back because I have two young children who are closer to me than my own heart itself. My children are no fools and they saw that I was affected, and they cried with me. We prayed and we prayed and we asked God for another chance. I got rid of all the demons in my life, peppered them with a dose of true love and wished them my best farewell……

I reassessed my life true and through and decided to cut out facebook, the very bane of productive time in the very first place. I shall re-focus on what is important. My wake up call is real this time. And I am truly thankful for it. The Universe and God has given me another chance and I am going to grab it by it’s horns and charge forth.

Hello new life! Bye-Bye old life……

So what is Aortic Valve Regurgitation?

From what I understand, it is the leaking of blood back into your heart when your heart pumps good oxygenated blood into your body. Most people have the more common Mitral Valve Regurgitation but I just HAVE to have the opposite. When I told my Doctor friends, they looked at me with genuine concern. Emotionally, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time but hey, I have bounced back!!! THAT QUICK!!! Damn, I love my positive spirit.

So with all heart conditions, it’s kind of hit or miss. But heck, you never know when you’re going to go anyway, right? Look at my Mom!!! She has survived FOURTEEN YEARS of that fucking evil cancer!!! Based on genetic composition of strength of steel, I reckon I’m real good. When God wants me to go, I will readily go. Fearless. Why? Because we are now prepared after this wake up call. My wake up call. We have discussed it, assessed it, gotten prepared for it. Yes, I am indeed efficient. Waste no more time in such things after learning from my MIL’s sudden death. I am happy with how the Hubs will manage the girls if I were to go suddenly. They were my number one priority. And although they may lose a mother, I know that they will be well taken care off thus am prepared to go in peace. Thank you God, for this chance of living longer. Every breathe that I take each morning now will be greeted with absolute gratitude. Such a refreshing lease on life that I am blessed with.

Strangely, I have not shared this with my friends prior to this but I shared it with someone neutral who then told all the people who were not my friends, but that’s inconsequential. They then went back to ask my friends who didn’t have a clue what they were on about and then of course, I got back worried questions about my painful bleeding heart. All I can say is, if you can laugh about my condition, you can laugh about anything! So yeah, this was my wake up call………..

LAUGH AWAY!!!!!!!!

Barbie, Oh Barbie!!!

Sigh. I caved. For the longest time, I’d pledged that my kids will never play with Barbie because I never did and I am against commercialism so when my youngest, T2, showed a real interest in the pinkness world of that superhero doll, I just didn’t have the heart to deny her that happiness.

So for her 5th birthday, she finally got some Barbie. In fact, she had a birthday party for the first time ever and received a whole collection of Barbies!!! I don’t have to say a lot as the pictures show themselves……

Happy Birthday, T2. I know how much you love Barbie……since you say you are a big girl now and only small girls play with baby dolls and big girls play with Barbie. Now who brainwashed you into that?!

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Slowly unraveling her Barbie treasure from the Barbie bag……

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Kisses to Mommy or Mattel, T2?? BOTH!!

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And she didn’t forget her sister, because she needed her to help open the Barbie toy for her!

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Waiting anxiously………

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OHhhhh! I’m SO excited, Mommy!!!

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Mommy, look! It says TM, Che-Che’s name! It should be TN, my name!

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TadaaaaAAAAA!!!!!!

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Reading the instructions…….

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And Barbie play begins!

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Mama, I have a Barbie iron!

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They spent a few hours on Barbie ironing clothes and print ons as the set was an ironing print on set……

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Teamwork

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We did it!!!

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Continuing her Barbie play…..

So yeah, we’ve succumbed to the Barbie world. This does not mean we will be collecting all things Barbie! Hell, no. I am not a toy advocate, remember? But thank you, Barbie, for making my precious little ones days brighter. Thank you so much. She does get good play out of Barbie and truly enjoys herself whilst playing.

My Mother-in-Law passed away suddenly

Yes, that’s right. 20 days ago, my mother-in-law passed away suddenly. It was a shock to the Hubs and I and the shock was so surreal that we couldn’t cry as we couldn’t really believe it. And still when we took that first flight home to Kelantan, rushed to her home from the airport with a taxi since my Father-in-Law was already busy making funeral arrangements, then rushed upstairs to see her body lying on her bed, still we couldn’t cry. It wasn’t real. She was just sleeping. We were asked to kiss her goodbye one last time as it was the only chance we got to touch her before they embalmed her and put her into her coffin. It was the first time I’d ever seen nor touched a dead body and in normal circumstances I would have been terrified but not that day. My heart missed her terribly already.

Fast forward a lot of prayers, the nightly guarding of the altar and visits to the temple and cremation, we are finally home in KL for a breather. We even managed a quick steal to Perhentian for a getaway from it all. Life is so precious indeed. I need not even mention it but those of you who are still angry, who are still pissed off with someone or other? Get over it. Waste not a second more in experiencing a beautiful life ahead of you and treasure with your utmost passion, your loved ones.

Those of you who are Muslim, please, I ask of you to pray for my Mother. Her name is Elena Gabriel Binti Abdullah. If you have a father or husband or brother, who prays at the mosque, can you please ask them to ask the Imam to pray for her too.

If you are NOT Muslim, please, can I also ask you to pray for her? Her pre-convert name is Elaine Maria Gabriel. I don’t care about names and religion. To me, she is the same amazing person and deserves all the prayers in the world to fight this disease and evil. So if you go to Church, please I beg you, please ask the Priest to pray for her too. Get a pen and write her name down now. I thank you humbly.

Just last week, she asked for a big fat straw. Odd request? I knew that she’d been on a liquid diet for the last year drinking only milk so why did she want a big straw versus a small normal straw? To drink faster?

So I asked.

Apparently, her mouth is filled with the cancer growth left, right and back and her mouth senses are literally screwed so whenever she puts her medicine into her mouth, she has no idea where it goes and has no control over it. With a big straw, she is able to suck the pills one by one straight into the back of her throat after which she can just gulp down with a sip of water. Her mouth feels knives slitting every part of her mouth. It is only a matter of time when the cancer blocks her entire throat and she won’t be able to swallow anything and would then have to be tube fed.

Being on fluids alone for a year plus has made her look like a famine victim in Ethiopia. She wears her baggy clothes all the time but I can see how she is literally all skin and bones. Not kidding.

Bless her strength. I do not think I will have the will to suffer like this in her position, not even for my 2 girls. I don’t know. I think. But you never know. My Mother is the strongest person I have ever known personally. Do you know anyone stronger? Come show me.

I have asked my dearly departed Mother-in-Law to please care for my Mother from above and keep her well for as long as possible. She truly deserves another chance at life.

The Homeschooling Hub Malaysia

So! I’ve started a new Facebook group on duh, Facebook, that has been growing quite nicely called the Homeschooling Hub Malaysia. It is for the benefit of the parenting community which shares our Homeschooling activities and ideas and going ons about town. Come join us if you’d like to know what we get up to. It’s not just for Homeschoolers per se as all children to me are entitled to lots of fun. And that is exactly what we practise at Home in our learning exercises.

Come join us at Homeschooling Hub Malaysia. We’d love for you to participate in our discussions.

See you soon!

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